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Maps, prints and letterpress text covering the major battles and sieges

After? Saint-Vincent (active 1628-31)

The two sieges of Casale Monferrato, 1632

PLAN / DES DEVX SIEGES DE CASAL / LE PREMIER COMMENCE LE 28E MARS 1628 PAR / DON GONZALES DE CORDOVA ET LEVE LE 16E MARS / DE L’ANNEÉ 1629 LES TRAVVAUX DVQVEL SONT MARQVÉS / PAR PETITZ POINTZ POVR LES... published 1632

Engraving and etching; printed from eight copperplates on eight sheets of paper, then joined; mounted on paper (Remains of type B mount) | Scale: 1:13,000 approx. | RCIN 722031

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A high oblique view and map of the sieges of Casal (Casale Monferrato), 28 March 1628-16 March 1629 and 23 May-18 September 26 October 1630. War of the Mantuan Succession (1628-31); part of the Thirty Years War (1618-48). Oriented with south to top.

The fortress of Casale Monferrato commanded a strong strategic position on the northern edge of the alpine region, where the Po created a gap in the mountain range bordering on the Lombardy plain. It became a pivotal target in the War of the Mantuan Sucession which had broken out amongst rival claimants to the Gonzaga family’s Dukedom of Mantua, the direct male line of which had become extinct in December 1627. It was held in 1628 by Italians for the French-born claimant, Charles di Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers, whose rival claimant was Ferrante II Gonzaga (1563-5 August 1630), the Duke of Guastala, backed by the Holy Roman Empire.

The first siege by the Spanish army, commanded by Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, the governor of Milan was abandoned by them after a year when the French crossed the Alps in force, occupying the town and fortress with five regiments of foot and six cavalry companies under the command of Jean Caylar d’Anduze de Saint-Bonnet, Marquis de Toiras (1585-1636) whose coat of arms are top centre of this view. Toiras, the ‘hero of the resistance to the English on the Île de Ré’ in 1627 (see 722025) was present at both sieges and his success there and elsewhere was rewarded with the appointment of maréchal de France in 1630.

The second Spanish siege was entrusted to the command of Ambrosio Spinola who died during the negotiations following the capitulation of the town (though the citadel held out). The Succession finally fell to the Duke of Nevers.

According to the imprint, the engraving of these plates took about eight months, being begun on the 4 July 1632 and published on the 24 March 1632. This example lacks a key to the letters and numbers on the print.

  • After? Saint-Vincent (active 1628-31) (draughtsman)

    Louis Chupin (fl. 1631-32) (engraver) [top left, in a small cartouche suspended from the title cartouche:] Ce plan a este Commence de gra / uer par Moy Louis Chuppin / Chalonnois le 4e Iullet 1631 / et a este parachens le 24e / Mars 1632 A Casal D.

  • Watermark: None

    Condition: four fold lines

  • Scale: 1:13,000 approx. Scale bar: Eschelle de 500 Thoises [74 mm =] de 6 piedz la Chacune qui font un demi Mille du Monferat.

    87.1 x 115.3 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

  • Printed title:

    PLAN / DES DEVX SIEGES DE CASAL / LE PREMIER COMMENCE LE 28E MARS 1628 PAR / DON GONZALES DE CORDOVA ET LEVE LE 16E MARS / DE L’ANNEÉ 1629 LES TRAVVAUX DVQVEL SONT MARQVÉS / PAR PETITZ POINTZ POVR LES DISSERNER DE CEVX DV DERNIER / LEQVEL A ESTÉ ATTENTE PAR LE MARQVIS D ESPINOLA LE / 23 MAY 1630 ET LEVE’ LE 18E SBRE DESSEIGNE’ PAP [sic] MONSIEVR / DE ST VINCENT INGENIEVR ET GEOGRAPHE ORDRE DV ROY / QVI A CONDVICT ICEVX AVX DEVX SIEGES OV LES CV / RIEVX POVRRONT ESTRE SATISFAICTZ ET RECOG / NOISTRE QVE LES PRECEDENTZ QVON’ ADO / NNE AV PVBLICQ SONT FORT ESLOIGNÉS / DE LA VERITE’ [top left, in an oval cartouche flanked on each side by a siren, one with a gorgon’s head, surmounted by the coat of arms of Charles Gonzaga-Nevers, Duke of Mantua and Monferrat]

    Inset:

    [top right, in a rectangular frame decorated with the accoutrements of war, a high oblique view of Casal:] SCENOGRAFIE DE LA VILLE CHASTEAV ET CITADELLE DE CASAL. Size: 9.5 x 27.0 cm (neatline).

    Annotations:

    George III heading: Casal 28 March 1628 - 16 March 1629 and 23 May - 18 September 1630.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [right, red pencil:] 1/167; [right of old heading, black pencil:] II/3[?].

    George III catalogue entry:

    Casal Plan des deux Sieges de Casal, le premier commencé le 28 Mars 1628 par Don Gonzales de Cordova et levé le 16 Mars 1629: le dernier attenté par le Marquis de Spinola le 23 May 1630 et levé le 18 Septembre: par M. de S.t Vincent Ing.r gravé par L. Chuppin, 1631, 32. 8 feuilles.

  • From the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-22 October 1657); inherited by his brother, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606-1689); sold by Carlo Antonio’s grandson to Clement XI, 1703; acquired by Cardinal Alessandro Albani by 1714, from whom purchased by George III in 1762

  • Subject(s)

    Casale Monferrato [Casale], Piedmont, Italy (45°08ʹ00ʺN 08°27ʹ09ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    D. Parrott, Richelieu’s army: war, government and society in France, 1624-1642 Cambridge 2001, pp. 92-99

    T. Jaques, Dictionary of battles and sieges: A-E, Santa Barbara 2007, p. 207

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2873

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